Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ernie Davis Legend of 44 Seat at the Carrier Dome

After a small donation to SU Athletics I was able to rename my seat to the Ernie Davis Legend of 44 Seat at the Carrier Dome. So from now on when someone asks where do I sit I will tell them Ernie Davis Legend of 44 Seat at the Carrier Dome instead of Section 301. The formal dedication will be for the Akron game with a name plate being placed on the seat. Well under the seat since one of these will be on top of it:

In all seriousness what can be said of the attendance thus far? They announced over 40k but IMO we had less than we did for Maine. The sidelines looked less than 50% full and the food stamp seats were maybe 85% full vs nearly 100% for Maine. On the year we are only averaging 41,162. Which made me think of a few years ago when it was rumored that real seats would be installed in the Dome. Instead we got the seats shown above in the A Level, which are pretty decent I must add as it saves your butt vs the metal bench. But back to real seats. Would SU be better off? I have heard some fans complain about the metal bench so maybe real seats would help people come? And how would it effect capacity? Well here are my thoughts:

-In the perfect storm for attendance season of 1998, SU only averaged 47,750. That year we were coming off a BCS game, had McNabbs SR Heisman hopeful season, were Top 15 in most preseason polls, and had only 6 home games which were Tenn, RU, Cincy, Pitt, VT, and Miami. Ok three of those teams sucked but 3 were very good. IMO we should have sold out before the season. Now with Marrone and TGDs selling power, I think had they been around (vs P and Jake) we would have sold out. Even so I think it will be very hard for them to sell out a season. If you look at 1997 we only averaged 45,850 in which WV and BC were the "name" teams that year. So I am going to guess that the best case for SU is 47,500 since Miami, VT, and BC are no longer in the conf.

-Currently when I sit my legs are touching the legs of people next to me and my knees touch each other (not good for the balls). There really isnt much space. To compare, today I sat in my old Yankee Stadium seat. There is actually space between my knees and arm rests. So I estimate that the Yankee seat equals 1.33 Dome seats (extra space plus one arm rest per seat, since they are shared). So if the Dome capacity is 49,250 then you should be able to fit 36,937.5 real seats. Since the students stand the whole game, they dont need real seats. The students/band have sections 102-109. However because of BBall you need to make 104-109 real seats. So only 102-104 can stay bleacher. Thus add back 383.5 seats making the total 37,321. Also you need to add back the luxury box seats which are already real seats. That should bring the total to 37,500.

-Is 37,500 too small? Besides the last 3 years, we have averaged more than that. However IMO the die hard fan base is about 32,500 people. The rest are casual or band wagon fans and are not reliable. SU tried to cater to them with $100 season tix ($12.50 a game), but IMO that didnt bring in new fans but instead took fans away from the $200 ($25 a game) sections and made them move to the cheaper section. I think it has been a net loss for SU. This year we are averaging 41,162. If capacity were 37,500 we would be averaging 37,033 (37,500 x 3, plus 35,632). And that would be likely the actual and not just the announced. So we would be down 4129 a game. Looking at the seating chart we have about 5000 in the $100 season ticket seat sections. That brings in $62,500 a game. If you bumped those tix to full price, how many of those fans would you lose? If you keep 75% of them you make $93,750 which is more money. That extra $31,250 also makes up for the 4129 lost from reduced capacity.

-It is easier to sell out 37,500 than 49,250. It is simple supply and demand. The casual fan knows there is no way SU will sell out the season. So they have no incentive to buy season tix, knowing they can pick and choose what games they want. However with about 12k less in capacity, all of a sudden it is a lot harder to pick and choose which games they can go to. Maybe not so much now, but when SU is good again. Right now supply greatly exceeds demand. And even when SU is good again supply will still slightly exceed demand. But with only 37,500 we are currently slightly above demand. And when we are good we will have less supply than demand. Which means we wont have to offer $25 tix let alone $12.50 tix. So lets say we avg 42,500 this year. That will bring in about $1 million in tix per game. If you have only 37,500 seats and charge $27.50 a game you only have to avg 36,350 to even out. Isnt that do able? Would we lose more than 6,150 fans (14.5%) at that price? And when we are good if we get 47,500 at $30 a game, it is the same as 37,500 at $38 a game. Even at $38 a game that is extremely cheap for a Top 25 team.

-Isnt it embarassing to only have 37,500? First we are what we are. CNY is great for CBBall but not so much for CFB. Part of that is the fact that SU is a small private school. Lets stop pretending that we are not. Last year if we sold out the season (49,250) we woulda been 45th in the nation in avg attendance. If we only held and avg'd 37,500 that would put us #65 in the nation. That isnt that big a drop. Also it woulda been ahead of BCS programs Stanford, Baylor, Cincy, Indiana, Wake, Duke, NW, and Wash St in avg attendance last year. Now our program is better than all of those teams. However isnt our fanbase a lot closer to those teams than the other BCS programs? Capacity wise we would only be ahead of Cincy, Wash St, Duke, and Wake. Cincy may expand but the other 3 we are safe to stay ahead of.

-What about BBall? Well even after the reduction we would still be the largest BBall arena (Rupp 23,500). Capacity for BBall is 33,500 so a reduction would be 25,125 but add back the what we did in FB and add in the blue temp seats and you have 26,000. I estimate about 5000 of that would be in the 318-322 and 302-334 range, which are less favorable since you dont face the court. Those seats would only sell for name games or weekend BE games. So 21k we should have no problem selling. Games above that 21k and below the 26k new capacity were UVA (22k), Seton Hall (23k), Cincy (25k), and UL (25.75k). I doubt we lose any for the first two. Maybe we lose a few people those last two games. But how much? Maybe 5k total? Then we have the games above 26k: Nova (26.75k), ND (30k), and GTown (31.75k). So we lose 10.5k from those, meaning in total we woulda lost about 15.5k for the season. That is 815 people per game, which brings our avg for the year down to 20,225 per game. That would knock SU from #2 to #4 in avg attendance. But I think we still end up number two (21,050) as CNY pride would push us there. If we are smart we woulda promoted the Cincy and RU games as a lets get to #2 and increase attendance for those games. I think CNY pride woulda gotten it done. We want to be #1 every year and still can be. But it will be harder without the 30k plus crowds. As to money you lose $16,300 (815 x $20) per game last year. If you charge $0.75 more per game, you break even. I dont think you lose anyone over that.

So I ask you Orangeland, would adding real seats in the Dome be better for SU?

No comments:

  ©Template by Dicas Blogger.